High hopes for this season were quickly dashed when a) Cinmeon Bowers ate pot, 2) Devon Bookert hobbled around for a few games and then underwent foot surgery, and D) Aaron Thomas was dismissed. So it goes.
After that happened I projected FSU as going 5-13 in conference play, while Matt and Ariya were more optimistic, each going 7-11 with six wins being more likely than eight. All told, it was a good development job by the staff to get this team to eight wins, but that's not what people want to hear. Instead, they want to hear about how super awesome Florida State will be next year now that the Noles will feature 1/9th the 5*s as the Duke Blue Devils.
So what will the roster look like? Keep in mind that in modern basketball, rosters are fluid. I'd be surprised if everyone listed below is in garnet and gold come November.
Boris Bojanovsky (7-3, Sr.): Bojo settled in at just over 16 minutes per game this year, and with Kiel Turpin graduating, the minutes are there for the taking. Bojo has always been an efficient scorer - team high 112.6 offensive rating - but the key to his minutes will be rebounding and defense. After being a terrible defensive rebounder in his first two years, he bumped his DR% to a respectable 16.5% as a junior.
Michael Ojo (7-1, Sr.): Ojo has developed a ton since arriving on campus basically unable to do anything related to a basketball move. But he's still a role player at best. Hopefully he can slim down a bit and become more active in the post. Still, it's always nice to see really raw players develop to the point where they'll be able to play basketball for a living.
Jarquez Smith (6-9, Jr.): Jarquez had the classic sophomore bump this year. After a miserable freshman year, Smith showed flashes - especially late in the season - of legit stretch-4 skills. He needs to add 10-15 pounds of good weight, and he needs to play with more energy. But his attitude improved tremendously (no more pouting after mistakes),he flashed a few nice post moves, and his timing getting up for blocks is fantastic.
Phil Cofer (6-8, So.): Add Cofer to the "needs to add good weight" program. Cofer had a superb freshman season for a 3* recruit (100.8 oRtg, 15.4 DR%) and seemed to be picking up the defense by ACC play. If his 3-point shooting is legit (40%, but only 15 attempts) then FSU will really be able to stretch defenses next year. The lack of an ability to do that this year was the primary limitation to FSU's offense. He's also football tough, which is something FSU needs.
Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (7-4, Fr.): Koumadje is another prospect at center, but he has a higher ceiling than the senior centers. Koumadje runs the court fluidly and has good hands. It will take a few years to make an impact, however, as he is raw as a basketball player and will be the thinnest player in the conference.
Montay Brandon (6-8, Sr.): Brandon has shown steady improvement over his career. He used 19% of the possessions this year, so he'll never be a volume guy, but his versatility means he'll probably lead the team in minutes played next year. Montay made 57% of his 2s this year, and his FT% has increased each season (49%, 62%, 67%) which is key for a guy who gets to the line as often as he does.
Brandon Allen (6-6, Jr.): Allen isn't your typical walkon, but he's not skilled enough to make a major impact at this level. He's a big, live body though, and those are always good to have around.
Robbie Berwick (6-4, So.): Berwick didn't light it up as a freshman, but showed flashed by making 43% of his 3s in ACC play. He also battled a nagging injury for much of the year. Next year, he'll have more of an impact with his shooting and good court vision.
Dwayne Bacon (6-6, Fr.): The most hyped freshman of Leonard Hamilton's tenure. Bacon will be an immediate impact player and will probably contend for the team lead in scoring. He's not the most explosive athlete though, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in on defense and on the glass.
Malik Beasley (6-4, Fr.): Beasley is an explosive scorer who can light it up from anywhere. Like most freshman, he needs to add significant strength, but he will contribute immediately regardless. He has the skills to be a lockdown defender in the Aaron Thomas/Michael Snaer mold.
Devon Bookert (6-3, Sr.): Bookert played most of the year off the ball following foot surgery. He wore down at the end of the year, but has the potential to be one of the best shooters in the conference. A deeper bench will enable him to stay fresh next year and he should get more open looks with more talent on the floor.
Dayshawn Watkins (6-0, Jr.): Watkins averaged 17 minutes a game through the first ten games, and then played 30 minutes total the rest of the year. Assuming he comes back and fights his way out of Ham's doghouse, Watkins is the quickest player on the roster and could be key in those games where FSU faces a small, quick, back court.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes (6-3, So.): There were high hopes for XRM and he exceeded them all. His efficiency wasn't what it should be due to his poor 3-point shooting, but taking better shots and not being needed to carry the load will help that improve. His assist rate was tied for 6th in the ACC, and I expect that to improve as more of his passes will end up in the hands of guys who make the shot.
Terance Mann (6-5, Fr.): Mann does a little bit of everything. He's fluid, He can rebound. He can handle the ball. His tools still need development, but his ceiling is high. He wants to be a point guard, and it will be fascinating to see how he develops.
Healthy, FSU will be a vastly improved team. But the ACC goes from one of the best conference in the nation in 2014-15, to spitting fire in 2015-16. Here are my pre-transfer season power rankings.